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March 18, 2008

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Ben Towle

Another interesting "tiny fragments" book of relatively recent vintage is Magic Whistle #9 by Sam Henderson. Like Clowes's stuff, it also crosses over with the recent "aping different cartooning styles" bit, as per that recent Mike Allred thing as well. (Unlike Clowes's recent stuff, though, Magic Whistle is funny!)

K. Parille

Nice posts!

I like the idea of mosaic better than tiny fragments - and there seems to be no need to limit the size of the fragment to ten panels or less as suggested. The Clowes stories referenced break into sections from a few panels to a few pages, and yet all are parts of the larger story – the method is mosaic and the sections can be whatever size they are. In the Eightball 22 page above, what’s interesting to me is also that the 4 strips are really about Mr. Ames, and so they kind of form a kind of tightly-knit unit – 4 scenes in which he is out investigating the kidnapping crime and, as it turns out, his wife’s possible infidelity. As Ames says, “the case you start out on is often not the one you end up on” (paraphrase).

Newgarden’s approach illustrated above in the Little Nun strips seem to me to be of a different kind than that in the Clowes or Spiegelman examples; the strips don’t form a whole in quite the same way—they are thematically related, but I don’t see the same kind of narrative or argumentative connection. So perhaps here mosaic implies more of a page design and thematic approach, while in Clowes it refers to a larger, narrative strategy.

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